How do I know what non surgical technique is best for what person and what area?

Viora (radio), Ultherapy, (ultrasound), coolsculpting, or photofacial (lasers), laser lipo, thermage . . . There are so many non surgical options to tighten skin and lose fat. Are they all pretty similar? (kind of like Botox and Dysport)? or is there any way to catagorize them and give good information to the patients?

Doctor Answers 5

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

HI and thank you for your question!

It can become overwhelming because there are a lot of options out there.In our practice, we have all of the above, and can effectively direct out patients to a treatment plan that is most suited to their needs and concerns. Our patients who desire lifting and tightening of the skin, and are the right candidates, are thrilled with their Ultherapy results. IPL/Photofacial is wonderful for treating brown spots and reds/vessels on the of the skin. Lasers more so for skin texture, lines/wrinkles/pores. Coolscupting where there is excess fat.

Schedule a consultation with a practice that offers a all of these types of treatments so they can educate you further and direct you to the most appropriate plan for you. It may require several different treatments to address a variety of concerns.


Dr. Grant Stevens

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Find out what the right non surgical tightening procedure is for you

There are many factors that go into creating a treatment plan for an individual. There are no easy textbook answers. I see my patients personally in consultation and examine them in different views, sometimes different lighting to accentuate pigment changes and of course listen to them and see what he or she would like to improve and then we discuss the following:
1. Coloration such as red, brown even yellow coloring. These can be treated by lasers such as Vbeam, Excel V, Permea, Fraxel Dual, as well as certain topical agents
2. Wrinkles present at rest in upper third of face : Botox
3. Hollowness and fat loss mid third face: Voluma filler and others
4. Sagging skin: Fraxel Repair, ThermiSmooth, Ultherapy, Thermage, ThermiTight

Some patients need only one type of treatment while others need several different techniques to address multiple issues. At times their medication history or medical history may preclude some types of treatment and all my patients get a written financial quote the same day of their consultation from a staff member who can answer questions. In this way, my patient has a better understanding of what treatment(s) is (are) right for them.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

What procedure is right for me?

This is where a cosmetic consultation with a knowledgable professional is so important to begin the journey toward correction.  We need to assess skin type, pigment/vascular issues, laxity, muscle motion, volume loss, and the effects of gravity on your skin.  All these systems are wonderful but each has a specific purpose and a condition they excel in correcting.  Take the time and money to invest in a face to face assessment for the ideal treatment plan.

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Customizing nonsurgical procedures to the individual patient

It is indeed confusing with so many different options being hyped. Ultherapy, which uses microfocused ultrasound, is the only one FDA-approved for noninvasive facial skin lifting. Radiofrequency devices such as Viora and Thermage also place heat into the tissues to stimulate collagen production. Laser treatments have an effect closer to the surface of the skin. Coolsculpting and lipo reduce fat but do not tighten skin very much. None of them do enough to be considered a nonsurgical facelift and results vary. Your individual needs will determine which if any are best for you.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Non-surgical cosmetic treatments

Only a qualified and experienced doctor should offer these treatments as they are medical treatments. A doctor who is offering these treatments is also responsible to adequately train his or her staff to properly evaluate and advise potential clients.

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.